I am dog tired, tuckered out, and doing the 12-second blink. I daydream about sleep. I crave it, plan it, fantasize about it. But I’m not getting nearly enough of it.
It’s not just because this 50-year body is built for eight-hours a night. And it’s not because I lay awake thinking of my high school senior marching across a stage to the sounds of Pomp and Circumstance.
It's because of our four-legged family member, Josie. J-Dog. Simple Dog. Josie-The-Rescue-Dog. Or most often "Just Josie."
We “rescued” her some three years ago. Ours was the first home she'd ever been inside, and we suspect that we were the first humans who, in her memory, didn't starve or strike or otherwise abuse her. We give her food and water. We give her attention and love. We’ve even given her training. Not once, but twice. Not that it took, but still. Twice.
Josie has never had it so good. But from what we can tell, she doesn’t how to give back. So she repays us with what she has to offer: uncertainty, disregard, and barking. Barking, barking, barking. Bark, bark, bark.
But only at night.
1:30 a.m. is her time of choice. And why does she bark? Well, if we had to guess, we'd say her thought process runs along these lines:
“Is that the moon?
I think it’s the moon.
It’s bright and shiny and, wait, is somebody calling me?
Hey, there’s the moon.
Where are the lizards?
There was a lizard here earlier today.
Maybe if I bark, the lizard will come back.
And bring his lizard friends.
I like lizards.
Wait. Is that the moon?
Why does that person keeping hollering?
Who is Josie?
Ooh. A raccoon. Do I like raccoons?
Where is that lizard?
Is that the moon?
I wish that person would stop calling and whistling.
It makes it hard for me to focus on the moon.
And the lizards.
See that moon? It’s shiny.
Lizards are not.”
Pretty much sums it up. The moon is shiny, lizards are not, and Josie is just Josie. Repaying us with everything of which she is capable. And hopefully, much better for it.
For dinner tonight, it's just me and Josie, so I'm having zucchini, which I will share with Josie, and pinto noir, which I will not.
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
1 medium zucchini, cut in thickish rounds
1 tablespoon olive oil (break out the good stuff)
fresh ground pepper
Preheat over to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (which makes cleanup a snap). Combine bread crumbs and cheese on a large dinner plate. Toss zucchini slices with olive oil, coating well. Place zucchini slices on crumbs, and press extra crumbs on top of each slice. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Season well with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve, with lemon wedges.